Mystery Seagull ‘dying’ phenomenon at Kuku beach

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LIVE UPDATES: Kuku Beach ‘dying’ Seagulls
Reports of Seagulls dropping to the ground and dying at Kuku Beach

On Thursday thisquality received reports that said Seagulls were dropping to the ground and slowly dying at Kuku Beach.

The first report of this ‘dying’ phenomenon was on Wednesday (2 September).


The numbers of the birds not being able to fly, are not able to move and dying, and increased yesterday from today.

MPI is involved in rescuing and testing the birds to figure out the cause.

Source: Beverly Dowling

Beverly Dowling, who has rescued Seagulls previously, said what MPI would be doing with the birds rescued at Kuku Beach.

“They picked up birds this morning and will do a retrieval this afternoon at low tide. Any birds still alive will transfer to Wellington Bird Rehabilitation trust.”

Source: MPI Rescue on a Quad Bike

 Journalist Sam Hudson talked to a spokeswoman from MPI during the afternoon to ask what has been done so far.

“One of our vets have been up there this afternoon. We have collected about a dozen birds, some of them were from a resident who called us in, and he also picked up a dozen himself.”

The birds rescued were sent immediately to the ‘Wild Base’ where an ecologist will do post mortem examinations to establish a picture of what’s going on with the Seagulls.

Source: CC/ Brent Hudson

“The role of MPI in this is to rule out that there’s not what we call an exotic disease, so something that’s been introduced to New Zealand, not something that’s normally circulating. We make sure there is not something like that at play,” said a spokeswoman for MPI.

The spokeswoman says that it is too early at this time to know what they are dealing with but are onto it to find an answer.


MPI also had recommended that if you are walking your dogs — keep them away from the Seagulls and keep them on a lead at all times.

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